Selfridges 'Smash And Grab': Two Men Held

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Selfridges 'Smash And Grab': Two Men Held

Two men have been arrested following an audacious raid by a burkha-clad gang at Selfridges after passers-by reportedly pinned them down.

The robbery happened at 8.30pm on Thursday evening while customers were shopping in the world-famous department store in London's Oxford Street.

Six men went into the store wielding axes before smashing display cabinets and stealing a number of high-value watches, said the Metropolitan Police.

The gang fled on mopeds and motorbikes, ridden by accomplices, but two came off their moped on Charlotte Street, at the junction with Goodge Street.

One man was arrested and is in custody while a second man was taken to a central London hospital, believed to be suffering from a fractured leg.

Two other motorbikes, believed to have been used in the getaway, have been recovered by police in Paddington.

Matthew Carrozo, 28, from east London, said he saw two men being arrested by police shortly after the raid.

He was having a drink with a friend outside The Draft House pub at the corner of Goodge Street and Charlotte Street, just north of Oxford Street, when he heard the sound of the moped crashing.

He said he then saw a man run out from a pizza restaurant and pin down one of the two people who were riding on the vehicle.

"Someone noticed a bag had fallen off the moped and that it had opened and a bunch a watches fell out. The duffle bag was full of watches and jewellery," he said.

He added that one man was dressed in full motorbike gear while a second man dressed in a burka had been on the back of the moped and fell on to the ground.

"The first guy pegged it down Charlotte Street and then he was held to the ground as other people were getting involved. He really put up a struggle. When cops turned up they put him in the back of a van and he was kicking and screaming. The other man was injured.

"Apparently it was just an accident and the moped slipped on a grate on the ground. We were totally stunned by what we saw."

Witnesses to the robbery took to social media, with one person writing on Twitter: "6 guys with guns + motorcycles just ran into @Selfridges smashed the counters grabbed jewellery and rode away."

Onlookers also posted photographs of the scene on Twitter, with one picture showing tiny pieces of broken glass from cabinets that were shattered over the floor.

Another photograph showed two axes lying on the ground.

DCI Andy Noyes, from the Flying Squad, said: "We are at an early stage in our investigation, but I would like to hear from anyone who was on Oxford Street last night or nearby who may have seen the robbery or the men making their escape.

"This was a brazen robbery, and appears to have been well planned and thought through. Fortunately no one was injured. The store was very busy and this will have been a shocking thing for people to witness.

"I'd like to thank those members of the public who stepped in and detained our two suspects. Their quick thinking and brave actions have helped our investigation."

Officers are in the process of interviewing witnesses to the robbery and seizing CCTV while additional police remain in the area of Oxford Street.

A special beauty event was being held at the store at the time of the attack, according to Selfridge's Twitter feed.

A message posted on the feed read: "Hi, we just want to let you know that everyone is safe and the police are investigating. We will update you once we have more information."

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